*Biker Syndrome – We turn to the definitions found for Biker and Syndrome contained in the online Dictionaries
Biker – A motorcyclist, especially a member of a motorcycle gang.”*
Syndrome- syn-drome: A distinctive or characteristic pattern of behavior.
Dictionary definition: a group of signs and symptoms that occur together and characterize a particular abnormality or condition
Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang* since 1968, defines Biker as a “gang member”
The Biker gang definition seems to have originated in the subcultures or society, a slang word for motorcyclists that have become widely accepted by most.
While it is true that the majority of dictionaries can’t agree on one definition for “biker” most if not all, seem to carry a rebellious connotation of the word. In fact the you can find “The Traditional definition of biker” in the majority of places on the Internet basically as “A man who leads a lifestyle that revolves around being part of the brotherhood of riders of American-made motorcycles.” This definiation acknowledges that being a biker, is a lifestyle (even leaving out the American-made motorcycle part).
Media driven rebellious biker “gangs” seems to have started in 1947, right after WWII. Blame it on the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) who organized a small rally in Hollister California that year. According to reports the participates of that rally were mostly returning servicemen who used riding to deal with the “horror of war.” The Rally may have gotten a little out of hand.
Media giant Life Magazine staged a photo during the Rally to emphasize the true spirit of this group, “a man sitting on top of a motorcycle amid a pile of beer bottles” – the beginning of the stereotype bad ass biker – no matter who you really may be: starting the Biker Syndrome.*
The rest is history – preceded by the 1954 release of the “The Wild One” with legendary biker personification played by Marlon Brando, followed by a cornucopia of Biker movies: Motorcycle Gang 1957, to “Easy Rider” in 1969, the Sons Anarchy 2008 and more to come. The message the general populous received: Bikers are out of control, rebellious gang members – which can actually work to our advantage at times, no matter who you really might be and what lifestyle you’re living.
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